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NCLR Statement on President Biden Signing Respect for Marriage Act

NCLR Statement on President Biden Signing Respect for Marriage Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Biden signed the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, which codifies same-sex and interracial marriage and family equality into Federal law for the first time in history at a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.  NCLR has issued the following statement:  This afternoon, President Biden not only ended the discriminatory so-called Defense of Marriage Act, he also enshrined marriage equality into a federal statute for the first time in...

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NCLR Statement on Bipartisan U.S. Senate Vote Passing the Respect for Marriage Act

NCLR Statement on Bipartisan U.S. Senate Vote Passing the Respect for Marriage Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congress took a historic step toward legislatively protecting marriage equality in federal law for the first time in a bipartisan vote of 61-36, with 12 Republican Senators joining every Democratic Senator in voting aye on the legislation. This summer the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act with a strong bipartisan majority of 267 members – including 47 Republicans – reflecting the will of the more than  71% of Americans who support the freedom...

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NCLR Applauds Passage of Federal Marriage Equality Protections

NCLR Applauds Passage of Federal Marriage Equality Protections

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Respect for Marriage Act WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act (H.R. 8404) by a bipartisan vote of 267-157. The bill repeals the disgraceful Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 – and codifies additional federal legal protections for the marriages of same-sex couples, transgender people, and interracial couples. The bill has the strong support of...

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NCLR Response to Trump’s Appointment of Steve Bannon as Chief White House Strategist

(November 16, 2016, San Francisco, CA)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights responds to President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon, whose news agency has been a vehicle for extreme views about racial and religious minorities, women, and LGBTQ people as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.: “Steve Bannon’s appointment as a senior presidential advisor is a betrayal of the American people and of our...

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NCLR Responds to U.S. Presidential Election

(San Francisco, Nov. 9, 2016)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) responds to the 2016 Presidential election results. Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.: “By a slim margin, this nation has elected a demagogue who trafficked in bigotry, stoked racist hatred and normalized misogyny. The election of Donald Trump as President threatens basic principles of human dignity and justice. Many of our most cherished values—inclusion, honoring difference, embracing equality,...

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NCLR Client Asks Illinois Supreme Court to Rehear Decision Barring Property Claims By Unmarried Partners

(San Francisco, Sept. 8, 2016)–Today, Eileen Brewer, represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Chicago attorney Angelika Kuehn, asked the Illinois Supreme Court to rehear its August 18, 2016 Blumenthal v. Brewer decision, which barred former unmarried partners from enforcing property claims against one another when they break up. The case arose when Brewer brought claims against her former partner, Jane Blumenthal, seeking an equitable division of the property and...

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Illinois Supreme Court Deals Major Setback to Unmarried Couples

(Springfield, IL, August 18, 2016)— Today, in a 5-2 decision with a strong dissent, the Illinois Supreme Court held that unmarried couples are barred from bringing common law claims to divide their property when they break up. The decision affirms the discriminatory policy established in 1979 by the Illinois Supreme Court in Hewitt v. Hewitt, 77 Ill.2d 49, at a time when Illinois still criminalized intimate relationships outside of marriage. Hewitt barred the state’s courthouse doors to...

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Gay Widower Sues KRON4 Pension Plan for Refusing to Provide Survivor Benefits After His Husband Died

(San Francisco, August 9, 2016)—Today, the widower of a former KRON4 employee sued Young Broadcasting of San Francisco and the KRON/IBEW Local 45 Pension Plan for refusing to provide him with a spousal pension benefit even though the couple were registered domestic partners. David Reed and Donald Lee Gardner began dating in 1998. They quickly fell in love and committed themselves to caring for and protecting one another, including by becoming domestic partners in 2004. They were together for...

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On Anniversary of Historic Marriage Equality Ruling, Ropes & Gray Makes Donation to NCLR

(San Francisco, CA, June 24, 2016)—To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, Ropes & Gray will make a $100,000 donation to the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Ropes & Gray’s co-counsel in Obergefell. Ropes & Gray’s donation to NCLR has been funded through legal fees awarded to the firm by a federal court in Tennessee as part of the resolution of the case, which also awarded fees to NCLR and other firms...

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Gay Widower Sues San Francisco Bay Area Union Pension Plan for Refusing to Provide Survivor Benefits After His Husband Died

(San Francisco, January 22, 2016) – Today, the widower of a hotel telecommunications engineer in San Francisco sued the IUOE Stationary Engineers Local 39 Pension Plan and its Board of Trustees for refusing to provide him with a spousal pension benefit required by the terms of the pension plan and federal law, solely because both spouses are men. Robert Pritchard and Thomas Conwell met in San Francisco in 2005, quickly falling in love and becoming inseparable. They were soulmates, Robert says,...

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